JC Tretter, former Cleveland Browns center, retires after 8 seasons in NFL but remains NFLPA president 9:09 AM ET Jake TrotterESPN Staff Writer Close Covers the Big 12 Joined ESPN.com in 2011 Graduate of Washington & Lee University Former Cleveland Browns center JC Tretter has retired from football after eight seasons in the NFL but will remain in his role as president of the NFL Players Association. Tretter, 31, announced his decision Thursday on Twitter, saying he is leaving the game "on my own terms" but also that he is "looking forward to doubling down on my work as NFLPA president." The Browns released Tretter in a salary-cap-clearing move this past March, just after he was reelected to a second term as NFLPA president. Tretter started every game but one -- due to COVID-19 in 2021 -- for the Browns over the past five seasons despite battling knee injuries that limited how much he could practice. With Tretter anchoring the middle, the Browns' offensive line ranked among the league's best in 2020 and 2021. Editor's Picks 1 Related The Browns, however, released Tretter to clear $8.25 million against the salary cap and replaced him with Nick Harris , who suffered a season-ending knee injury on the second play of the preseason opener against Jacksonville. Instead of making a move to re-sign Tretter, the Browns bumped up reserve Ethan Pocic to the starting center spot. As NFLPA president, Tretter helped guide the union through two turbulent years amid the COVID-19 pandemic, collaborating with the league on protocols to keep players safe. Shortly after Tretter's first term began, the league and union agreed to a new collective bargaining agreement that added a 17th game to the regular-season schedule and expanded the playoff field from 12 to 14 teams. The new CBA also resulted in higher minimum salaries, improved benefits for current and former players, and expanded rosters and practice squads. The deal also increased the players' share of league revenue from 47% before the CBA to 48.5% last year.